How (And Where) To Drive An Exotic Car in Italy

Going to Italy is on the bucket list of almost every person alive. This is because Italy is said to be one of the most romantic places on earth. It’s also home to great fashion trends and has the most exquisite shopping places. On top of the retail therapy and exotic food, Italy offers its tourists the chance to drive super cars on the public roads and also on the racing tracks. Several companies offering this service are available to make your trip to Italy simply unforgettable.

How to Drive an Exotic Car in Italy

You can hire a super car in any agency for a few hours as a driving test or take it on a spin for two days. Every car comes with a driving instructor who is always with you for safety.

Where to Drive an Exotic Car in Italy

Ferrari F12Berlinetta 6.3'12

1. Maranello and Modena

A test drive in Maranello starts with a private driver picking you up from your hotel and taking you to the heart of Italy of motor sport. This area is also known as the home of Ferrari or Italian Motor Valley. You board your super car of choice right after you pass the Ferrari factory. At this point you get to sit behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari and feel its roar and power. The instructor will sit right by you to give you instructions as you start slow in normal roads. You can increase the speed and use F1 super gear as you get used to the car until you reach the Modena racing track.

At this location you can combine road drive and tracking driving at the Modena autodromo. This is a complete racing track with amazing bends and gradients. The instructor will take the first lap as you watch closely so you can know how to do it. After that you are given back the pilot seat to take four exhilarating laps on the track. You then get to drive the car back to Maranello for thirty minutes before giving it back.

2. Imola Racing Track

The city of Imola is known as the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. It is famous for hosting formula One San Marino Grand Prix .The Imola racing track is one of the biggest tracks in Italy and is also a tourist attraction. Imola has the biggest Lamborghini academy where people are taught to drive this high-end car safely. The instructor stays with you but you stay in control. The instructors are patient, polite and let you make your own decisions. The benefit of the Imola race track over other tracks is that you get unlimited laps and different super cars.

3. Mugello Racing Track

At Autodromo Internazionale Del Mugello, one gets to learn all the tricks of race cars before test driving one. It is a big race circuit in Tuscany that enables one to take long laps and enjoy the super high speed. The facility is upgraded regularly to meet safety standards because it’s used by a lot of companies and individuals. You can test the power of an amazing GT car in this exhilarating descents and long straights with the guidance of an instructor.

At the Mugello’s circuit it also possible to drive a Formula one car.

4. Monza

Monza circuit is the most famous sports complex in the world because it hosts the prestigious grand prix events .It has long straights and fierce bends that will take your breath away. Monza circuit has 3 tracks; Gran Premio, junior tracks and the Speed track. Get a driving course in the junior track and then get behind the wheel on a fast race in the GT program. Monza circuit is also great for watching famous racers do their thing on track days.

At the Monza’s circuit it also possible to drive a Formula one car.

How to Get An International Driving Permit

If you plan to drive a super car in the public road in Italy you should obtain an international driving permit.

Drivers from outside EU are required to get an international driving license if they are to be allowed to drive in Italy. This license must then be translated into Italian to avoid problems with the traffic police. Anyone who has a USA driving license is eligible for an international one from any AAA club in US or Canada. It does not require a driving test, only an online application with photos and a $15 fee. It must be renewed annually, just like every other driving permit. The process is real fast and comes with minimal hassle.

5 Stunning Chianti Wineries you can Visit from Florence

The beautiful and historic city of Florence is a place of many wonders, and it’s no surprise it remains one of the most visited places in Italy. Apart from the fabulous architecture and art galleries, Florence offers you a chance to experience another of Italy’s wonders: the fabulous wines of the Chianti region of Tuscany. Food and wine make up a great part of the culture of this beautiful country, so we have looked at five amazing chianti wineries within easy reach of Florence.

#chianti

Castello di Verrazzano initially an etruscan and then a roman settlement, this castle is one of the most famous of all the Chianti wineries, and a tour of this magnificent and historic place is a must for anyone visiting the region. With a history of winemaking going back almost 1000 years, you will be taken on a wonderful tour through the estate, and encouraged to indulge in tasting some of the very finest wine produced in all the world. This is an experience never to be forgotten, and a very beautiful place to visit.

The Castello di Brolio is another fabulous castle and historic winery, and offers a variety of exciting tours. Easily accessed from Florence, take in the spectacular Tuscan countryside as you tour a place that is as enticing as possible, and enjoy fine wines in exciting tasting sessions in what can only be described as a spectacular setting. This family winery has been in the same family since the 12th century, and the wines produced here are simply superb. The wonderful gardens, stunning castle and quaint museum are a must, so make this one for your shortlist.

Castello del Trebbio is next on our list; this magnificent estate combines an historic winery, dating back many hundreds of years, with wine estate tours options, and allows you to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in Tuscany. Some of the finest wines of Italy have been produced here – and still are to this day – so make sure you enjoy a wine tasting tour. Relaxed and yet invigorating, the slow pace of life of Tuscany is evident all the time here, so take the time to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the region.

Fattoria il Lago is situated on the site of an ancient farm, once owned by notable Tuscan nobles, and is now a fabulous winery, olive oil producing estate and also offer tours of the wine production. Just a short distance from Florence, this is a place where you can relax and enjoy the location, take in wine tasting sessions and simply experience rural Italy at its best.

Finally, Torre a Cona is a great choice of place to visit and taste Chianti wines, and offers both a wine estate and activities in a quite wonderful setting. A choice of dinner on demand and cooking classes with excellent facilities – including a pool – and stunning views make this a very good choice if you are looking for a Tuscany holiday with wine as a feature.

The Chianti region is one of the most glorious of all in Italy, and any of the above wine estates make for a great place to visit or to stay when taking a holiday in the Tuscany region.

Interested in wine tours in the Chianti region? We offer chauffeured tours departing from Florence and Siena, for more information please click here.

A short guide about cycling in Chianti – Tuscany.

Have you ever thought about experiencing a day bicycle tour in the heart of the Chianti wine region? It can be a very original idea for spending a weekend in a different way. Many kinds of bicycle tours are offered through the hills of Chianti visiting vineyards, villas and olive groves. You will have the chance to enjoy stunning landscapes and obviously, to taste a glass of wine and some Tuscan olive oil on  bread.
Here are some suggestions to combine fun and adventure through the Chianti region. 2012 L'Eroica

South of Florence: Between Radda and Volpaia.

Radda in Chianti is one of the most popular Tuscan areas chosen by bike lovers, located in the province of Siena. This itinerary starts in Radda in Chianti and is 19 kilometres long. We can say that it’s a short route, but not so easy to cover, as it is it has slopes and steep elevations. For instance, you’ll find a steep rise towards Castelvecchi and Volpaia. Nevertheless, the effort is worth it. There you’ll enjoy a view of the Chianti landscape that seems to be really postcard perfect. This itinerary is part of a cycling loop check this website for the whole map.

East of Siena: Tour of Chianti from Castelnuovo Berardenga.

This great network of cycling routes around the Chianti region covers the four main municipalities of Siena. If is dotted with countless wineries that offer chianti tasting.  If you choose to take part in this journey, you will start from Castelnuovo Berardenga and you will have the choice to pedal for as long as long 98 kilometres. In certain areas, It can be a demanding tour, suitable for people who love working hard and are not afraid of long distances and steep rises.
Up and Down visiting Abbeys and Castles from Castelnuovo Berardenga to Castle of Montalto

Starting from Castelnuovo Berardenga you can choose this track that is just 28 kilometres. As a matter of fact, short itineraries can be the most demanding ones. The elevation profile is really varying. There are no long rises but at the same time, you won’t find any flat ground for almost 27 kilometres from Badia to Berardegna, as well as in the areas of the Monastery d’Ombrone and of the Castle of Montalto.

Towards Monteriggioni.

It’s a demanding itinerary,  51 kilometres long.
Is a tour of great historic interest but characterised by stunning views at the same time, above all in the Val d’Elsa. Tackling this route, you can choose to take a dirt shortcut, recommended for those who love riding mountain bikes.
The hardest part of the itinerary is the short but steep ride from Staggia towards the state highway Cassia, as well as the final rise to Castellina.

Towards Siena.

This 65-kilometre itinerary is one of the hardest ever. You really need a suitable bike to experience the demanding tour that starts from Radda in Chianti. The route is bumpy, with lots of bends, and it doesn’t present sudden elevations or drops however from start to finish there are more than 800 metres of difference in elevation.
A deviation towards the historic centre of Siena and the Certosa of Pontignano is strongly recommended. Don’t forget to fully enjoy the final part that goes through the authentic Chianti of San Sano, Lecchi, Ama and Andine.    

Going Meat Free in Tuscany: Ceci, Cicerchia and Beans.

Tuscan cuisine is largely based on legumes, for this reason there is a wide selection of Tuscan legumes which characterise many of the most delicate and flavourful Italian dishes. We are talking about Cicerchia, a traditional and ancient legume that cultivation dates back to the Mesopotamian era, and it looks like a squashed chickpea of some sort. In Italy is still widely grown in Tuscany. Cicerchia contains proteins like other legumes, B group vitamins, salt minerals and polyphenols. These beans need to soaked overnight and they are perfect for soup preparation, as well as Ceci (chickpeas), used for soup and pasta, they are indeed very nutritious. Finally, there are also some types of beans (cannellini and borlotti), tender and fine, appreciated for the easy digestibility. Furthermore, do not forget that they can be a good substitute for meat.
We propose three simple and flavourful recipes. Emilia Delizia compiled this short guide about going meat free in Tuscany. Enjoy!

fagioli borlotti
Tuscan borlotti beans

Zuppa di Cicerchie

The soup of Cicerchie is a nourishing dish. It is based on Cicerchie with sautéed celery, onions, potatoes and tomatoes, seasoned with rosemary and sage.
To prepare the soup, first you have to leave the Cicerchie to soak for at least 24 hours, changing the water frequently. Once they are ready, chop the onions and the celery; then clean and cut a tomato and two potatoes. In a quite big pot, brown two slices of garlic in some oil; once they will be ready, take them out and add celery and onion. After ten minutes, add potatoes, tomatoes, Cicerchia and season with salt and pepper. Add some vegetable broth from time to time.

Finally, add a sprig of rosemary and sage and cook for an hour. Once it will be ready, take out the sprig and serve the soup while it is still hot.

Pasta e Ceci

It is a simple and rich dish, perfect to eat in cold days. It is simple because it comes from the poor Tuscan tradition and it is rich because it puts together carbohydrates and proteins.
Firstly leave the Ceci to soak for 12 hours with a pinch of bicarbonate. Then rinse the legumes and cook them with rosemary. In the meanwhile, prepare a tomato sauce, with some garlic and rosemary.
Once Ceci are well cooked and soft blend them in a food processor, the result it should look like a liquid soup. Add the tomato sauce at cook it again until boiling; now you can add pasta (you can choose Ditalini or even broken Spaghetti) and keep cooking until is the pasta is ready.

Fagioli all’ uccelletto

It is a typical Tuscan dish from Florence. It is based on very simple ingredients and despite of its name, (uccelletto in Italian means little bird) you will not find meat in it.
Start cooking with the usual soaking and cooking of the beans: put them in a pot (made of terracotta if possible) and cook them in plenty of water, until they will be tender.
Once the beans are ready, brown them (again in a terracotta pot) with some oil, garlic and sage; add 200 gr of peeled tomatoes and cook it all until the sauce becomes dense.
Finally add the Beans, season with salt and pepper and keep cooking for an extra 15 minutes. Serve them as hot as possible.

Exploring Tuscany With a Personal Tourist Guide

I started working as a tour guide in Tuscany in 1987, when I was 23. I’m now almost 51. I started with German guests. As a tour guide I travelled almost everywhere through Europe (France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece) and also to Canada (Ontario and Québec) and to New York. In 2002 I specialized as a licensed tour guide for Lucca, a medieval town in Tuscany. I am also a graduated translator and interpreter and I’m about to get my second deegree in ?Mediator in Foreign Languages and Cultures’ at the University of Siena. I speak fluently following languages, beside Italian as a mother tongue: German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese. I speak also Swedish at a A2 level and I’m dealing also with Russian (A1 level) and Chinese at the moment! Continue reading

If you are are looking to visit Tuscany or any other area in Italy with an experienced local guide please keep reading below. This can truly enhance your vacations! 

This tour is guided by: Massimo

I started working as a tour guide in Tuscany in 1987, when I was 23. I’m now almost 51. I started with German guests. As a tour guide I travelled almost everywhere through Europe (France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece) and also to Canada (Ontario and Québec) and to New York. In 2002 I specialized as a licensed tour guide for Lucca, a medieval town in Tuscany. I am also a graduated translator and interpreter and I’m about to get my second deegree in Mediator in Foreign Languages and Cultures’ at the University of Siena. I speak fluently following languages, beside Italian as a mother tongue: German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese. I speak also Swedish at a A2 level and I’m dealing also with Russian (A1 level) and Chinese at the moment!

Meeting the clients.

I will meet my guests either in Montecatini Terme, a very well-known spa resort in northern Tuscany, where I am at home, or in other towns like Florence, Siena, Pisa, Arezzo, etc. but also outside my region, all over Italy, and show them the beauties of my country.

In which area in Tuscany are you specialised?

I’m of course specialized for Tuscany (my ‘highlights’ are Lucca, Florence, Siena, Pisa, Pistoia and Arezzo), but I can also guide my guests through other regions like Lombardy (Milan, etc.), Emilia Romagna (Bologna, etc.), Umbria (Assisi, etc.). We will do a guided tour in town, where we can organize a lunch break in a typical restaurant, then also hire a car or minivan to travel through the countryside and see something else of our marvellous landscape.

What the clients can see? 

We can also visit some typical farms producing wine and olive oil, cheese, ham and other alimentary products, we can also taste and do shopping in town or in wholesale factories where they produce and sell typical handmade products such as leather shoes, bags, marble or alabaster souvenirs, etc. It will last up to about 8 hours with some breaks for a coffee or so.

The costs of my tours depend on how we will organize them, i.e. if I have to move to my guests hotel/house and live there with them for the whole period or just meet them each morning at their premises.

tourswithmassimo
Explore Tuscany with Private guide Massimo

 

Villa Holidays In the Heart of Tuscany

The Soleado holiday home is situated on a beautiful hill resort in Pillo, in the municipality of Gambassi Terme. The Pillo village was founded thanks to the Old Via Francigena that crossed it and which even today numerous pilgrims still follow its historic route on foot. It is a pretty village set among the hills of the Chianti region from where you can easily reach the art cities and medieval villages. Therefore, Soleado is located in the heart of Tuscany, a few kilometers from the most important historic-cultural city as Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano; set among hills and the most important historical tracks, it offers the opportunity to enjoy pleasant days between history and nature at the same time. Soleado is not only that! The enogastronomic experience that awaits you will be unique! You really have to try flavors and smells of the Tuscan tradition through itineraries in old cellars and real winemakers ready to accompany you in this unforgettable experience. Nearby the Villa you can find “Villa Pillo”, a traditional Tuscan Farm located in the heart of the Chianti area. Because of a strong focus on quality in both the vineyard and winery, Villa Pillo is fast becoming a point of reference in the Tuscan wine world. Furthermore, they will be right the owners of the villa that on your arrival will recommend places where you can taste traditional Tuscan food or just where you can buy excellent fresh bread every day. The Soleado holiday home is thus the ideal place to spend your vacation in perfect harmony between relaxation and the desire to discover Tuscany’s artistic, landscape and food and wine attractions. Continue reading

Amazing Tuscan Villa Stay with wine and food experience.

villaintuscany2

 

The Soleado holidays home is situated on a beautiful hill resort in Pillo, in the municipality of Gambassi Terme. The Pillo village was founded thanks to the Old Via Francigena that crossed it and which even today numerous pilgrims still follow its historic route on foot. It is a pretty village set among the hills of the Chianti region from where you can easily reach the art cities and medieval villages.

Therefore, Soleado is located in the heart of Tuscany, a few kilometers from the most important historic-cultural city as Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano; set among hills and the most important historical tracks, it offers the opportunity to enjoy pleasant days between history and nature at the same time.

Soleado is not only that!

The enogastronomic experience that awaits you will be unique! You really have to try flavors and smells of the Tuscan tradition through itineraries in old cellars and real winemakers ready to accompany you in this unforgettable experience. Nearby the Villa you can find “Villa Pillo”, a traditional Tuscan Farm located in the heart of the Chianti area. Because of a strong focus on quality in both the vineyard and winery, Villa Pillo is fast becoming a point of reference in the Tuscan wine world.
Furthermore, they will be right the owners of the villa that on your arrival will recommend places where you can taste traditional Tuscan food or just where you can buy excellent fresh bread every day.

Why stay here?

The Soleado holiday home is thus the ideal place to spend your vacation in perfect harmony between relaxation and the desire to discover Tuscany’s artistic, landscape and food and wine attractions.

tuscanvilla3

Food Lovers Tour in Florence

I am German, 49 years old, deeply in love with Italy. I live in Florence for 30 years and I am an Art History major, with 24 years experience as guide and tour manager. Continue reading

Florence does not only offers art, culture and architecture but as in any other Italian city it offers a vast array of foods and wines. This tour offers a possibly to explore gelato, espresso, chanti wine, and a visit to the central food market in the city. Not to be missed by any food lover!

Tour Guide: Juliane

I am German, 49 years old, deeply in love with Italy. I lived in Florence for 30 years and I am an Art History major, with 24 years experience as guide and tour manager.

IMG_6752
Florence market food and wine tour – source

Customized private tour, not more than 8 participants.

Highlights of the tour: Central Food Market Hall of Florence, visit and tastings:
Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Truffles, Tuscan Specialities.
Walking tour along all the most important monuments: Duomo, Signoria Square, Ponte Vecchio. Stops for more tastings: gelato, lesson on Italian Coffee, Wine, Prosecco or Grappa, street food such as tripe and good Italian Panini.

Possibility to include the David of Michelangelo.

Duration: about 4 hrs

Meeting point: Pick up in your hotel, or at the Bell Tower of the Duomo.
Entrance fee for the Accademia Museum (David): 16,00 E. per person

Best Street food in Florence.

My trip to Florence, Italy was an adventure to remember. Among the sight-seeing, walking, shopping and general absorbing of this aesthetically pleasing city, I found some of the most delightful little street food vendors and places to get some of the best and most traditional foods Florence has to offer. To really take in and appreciate this Italian city for what it truly stands for, food wise, these were the best examples I could have tried. Known well for its consumption of wines, cold meats and cheese,
Florence is very well fed on flavoursome food and drinks. Eating here is an
absolute experience and they pride themselves on their many choices. Most
vendors will use the local produce meaning you get to taste the authenticity of Florence and Tuscan specialities.

It seemed just as I started to think of lunch, one of these beautiful little eateries would appear just as I needed them. Over all I found the Florence staff working at the venues to be really friendly and patient with my non-Italian lingo. Their English was wonderful and their accents understandable. I would recommend learning a little Italian before you
go as you can understand so much more when exploring their city and the food and wines Florence can offer.

I due fratellini in Florence.

Due Fratellini is a quaint and traditional little
sandwich and wine venue in the heart of Florence. If you are visiting Florence, I recommend you pop into this little treasure trove of fresh, mouth-watering, Tuscan food.

If you arrive here bang on lunch time like I did, then get in the que, the service is fact and the food is so worth the wait. It looked really daunting as I approached this hole-in-the-wall restaurant. There were at least 10 people outside the door waiting to be served. But I had a feeling it was going to be good because of the people eagerly waiting for their sandwiches and paninis.

With over 30 choices of filling for your Tuscan Bread sandwich or Panini, on any day of the week, it is hard to choose your combination of fresh cheese’s and cold meats and fish. The salad is as local as the Tuscan Ham with fennel seeds, all from small producers in Florence, you can guarantee it is as fresh as it possibly could be.

If you do get stuck with your sandwich filling, the family behind this traditional little street food vendor have put together a wonderful selection of suggestions from Green sauce to Tuscan Wild Boar Salami. The cheeses they have are a wondrous treat, so fresh and flavoursome. Pecrino cheese with Tuscan truffle for example was something I had never tried before my visit here.

The sandwiches are only 4euro so it is very affordable to eat here.

The gentlemen working behind the counter were very friendly and the food was amazing. People have heard a lot about this place and it has a great reputation so I would say a must see!

Their wine selection is extensive with a six foot deep wine rack holding hundreds of beautiful Chianti and Pinot Grigio, the rack spans the whole back wall of the counter up to the front door. The general trend here is to choose a sandwich or panini, then get yourself a lovely glass of Tuscan Wine to wash it down while accentuating the flavours of the Italian cheeses.

Panino Mondiale.

Panino Mondiale is a tiny little kiosk type, food vendor in
the Santa Maria Navella Train Station in Florence and offers some great street food. The name literally translates to World Sandwich.

The fillings available are plenty and their speciality is something called Lampredetto. This is a meat product which is served hot in your Tuscan Bread Roll, dusted with flour. It is lean and meaty and it comes from the
intestine of smaller cattle. This traditional Florence dish is not to be missed
and tastes great.

This is a good place to eat on the go with
the takeaway bags they provide and all at low street food prices.

The menu is impressive for such a small shop and I was pleased to see lots of children friendly options like burgers and sausages alongside their selection of dishes and sandwich fillings which are all bought fresh on a daily basis from the City Market.

L’antico trippaio.

L’antico Trippaio is a small food stall in the tiny unsuspecting location of the narrow historical streets in the city of Florence close to the Palazzo Vecchio. As a street food vendor, this place ticks all the boxes for a Tuscan Sandwich shop and give you an extensive menu of boiled meats and salsa verde aka green sauce. An elderly lady runs the little stall and
although not too friendly, she does know how to make you one of the best lampredetto smothered with a good serving of salsa verde and Tuscan cheese.

Rosticeria Giuliano.

Rosticceria Giuliano 3 this is beautiful and  traditional
Italian take away deli. The menu offers some home-made dishes and the produce is all local from Florence itself. The ingredients are fresh and full of flavour. I had some Tuscan Ham, peas and potatoes and it was beautiful. The staff are very welcoming and friendly. Roast chicken is always a reccomended to try with visiting an Italian rosticeria.

rosticeria giuliano

Their wine selection is huge but the staff are happy to help guide you if you get stuck. I was torn between the Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG and the Super Tuscans. They allowed me to try both and I settled with the Chianti.

The chef comes into the deli and makes sure you and enjoying his culinary delights. An all-round lovely little place to get a nice glass of Chianti and a good hot meal. The display window shows an array of meats and cheese as well as their home cooked dishes. It’s hard to walk past and I just couldn’t resist the temptation.

Streed food tour in Florence.

Street food vendors are a plenty in Florence and you will no doubt discover some little gems yourself whilst wandering the streets and markets of this traditional little city. Many a review online can be found to show there is much excitement around the taste bud tingling flavours and discoveries found here.

Enjoy the views and absorb the ambience of Florence, the street food and wine is the final link to your full on Florence experience.

 

 

 

Walking Tour of Pistoia

Michela Gori authorizedvguide of Pistoia and Florence since 1992 Continue reading

Michela: authorised guide of Pistoia and Florence since 1992

DSCN2008
Guided tour with a licensed guide in Pistoia – source

 

Proposed itinerary:

Walking tour through the medieval paved street of Pistoia a little fascinating city in the heart of Tuscany.
We start from the church of San Andrea with the fabulous pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, after that we walk to see the Robbiane, marvellous decorations of the Old Hospital of Il Ceppo, and we continue up to the main Duomo Square, civic and religious centre of the city. Inside the Cathedral we will admire the silver altar dedicated to Saint James, famous patron of Pistoia .
The tour will finish in the lively Piazza Sala with typocal restaurant and wine bars , meeting place of local young people where you can taste good local good and wine.

Florence to Cinque Terre: an Easy Day Tour by Car

Tourists who visit Florence often use the chance to stop by proximate towns and villages renowned for their cultural value. Day tripping from Florence to Cinque Terre, which is located high on the Italian Riviera, is a popular route for those wishing to appreciate the scenery, exclusive architecture and historic background of the Five Lands.
The journey from the capital of Tuscany to Cinque Terre should take about three hours if made by train. On the way, it is possible to stop by two other locations: San Miniato – a notable commune in the Pisa province and Siena – an ancient Tuscan city rich with art and cultural traditions.

The Cinque Terre – five lands on top of the Italian Riviera

The five Mediterranean villages – Manarola, Corniglia, Monterosso, Vernazza and Riomaggiore – rest on a pebbly coastline characterized by steep ground. Unique views of the stone-wall network – an admirable result of concentrated human work, alongside with the surrounding natural abundance make the main attraction of the area. Aspired for its splendor setting, Cinque Terre presents a rare combination of wildlife and antique buildings with grape terraces. Sloppy terrain, fishermen boats, local wine and salted anchovies all contribute to the memorable atmosphere. Each village has its special point of interest – Maranola, for example, being the oldest of the five villages, is distinctive with the biggest lighted nativity in the world activated during the months of December and January.

view from San Miniato Florence
Florence from Abbazia di San Miniato al Monte

 

San Miniato: between Pisa and Florence

Located in the Arno River valley San Miniato is famous for its ancient fortresses and cathedrals as well as modern cultural entertainments. One of the most prominent events is the annual White Truffle Festival taking part in late October and November during the season of these exquisite delicacies. For gourmet fans, wine-tasting and truffle-hunting guided tours followed by meals are excellent opportunities to enjoy real-time experience and acquire knowledge about the local traditional cuisine.
Besides culinary attractions, social venues and cultural heritage can be found around the city as well. For example, Prato del Duomo is an upraised square enclosed by impressive buildings, such as the Bishop’s palace or Palazzo dei Vicari and the Cathedral. Bordering the Cathedral is the Diocesan Museum which offers a collection of artworks demonstrated in chronological order and accompanied by annotations. The famous Tower of Frederick II named after the Emperor is another worthy location offering an outstanding bird’s-eye view from its top, which covers the entire Arno River Valley and its surroundings.

Siena – the medieval city of Tuscany

Valued for its historical center, the capital city of the province of Siena is abundant with prestigious buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. Piazza del Campo – the shell-shaped main town square, recognized for its exquisite beauty comprises two main constructions: the Mangia Tower and the Palazzo Pubblico. To get a sense of Siena air, visitors can explore both buildings with an all-inclusive ticket which permits access to the Civic Museum and the Mangia Tower with its stunning panoramic scenery.
For those seeking family-friendly outdoor attractions combined with dining, the Orto de ‘Pecci restaurant would be a favorable choice. Encircled by vast greenery and speckled by fruit trees, completed by an orchard and a small animal farm, this nature site makes a perfect setting for a peaceful lunch break. If you are looking for a tourist guide in Siena also check this page.

***
Visitors arrive in Maranola, which is the first of the five Terre, may later continue to the other villages by foot, car or train. For tourists without a vehicle and those who do not wish to use public transportation private chauffeured tours can be organised by Emilia Delizia.